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Registration and Continuing Obligations of a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP)

This Guidance Note sets out the registration and continuing obligations of a virtual asset service provider registered with, or licensed by, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (“CIMA”) under the Virtual Asset (Service Providers) Act, (2022 Revision) (the “VASPA”).

Registration & Licensing

All virtual asset service providers (a “VASP entity”) are required to register with, or be licenced by, CIMA. Virtual asset service providers must not conduct any virtual asset business without such registration or licensing in place subject to penalty. Registrations must be made through CIMA’s Regulatory Enhanced Electronic Forms Submission (“REEFs”) web portal. Stuarts has access to REEFs and will attend to registration/licensing and ongoing filings for our clients.

In order to register with CIMA, a VASP entity is required to file, amongst other items: (i) application forms; (ii) virtual asset declaration (iii) AML/CFT inherent risk form; (iii) personal declarations for senior officers[1]; (iv) requisite policies and procedures; (v) Cayman auditor consent letter (as applicable); (vi) corporate documentation; (vii) reference letters and police clearance certificates for senior officers and members; (viii) anti-money laundering officer information; (ix) application fee; and (x) registration fee (upon approval of the application by CIMA).

VASPA is being introduced in stages. Phase 1 of VASPA is in effect. Phase 1 includes the provisions of VASPA which relate to ‘registration’, enforcement, penalties and offences. Phase 2 of VASPA is expected to commence in 2023 and will bring into force the remaining provisions of the VASPA, including the ‘licensing’ requirement for virtual asset custodians and trading platform operators, the sandbox licensing regime and other elements of VASPA. As Phase 2 in not yet in effect, entities which will be subject to the licensing regime will need to complete the registration process with CIMA in the first instance and then complete the licensing process once in effect.

Ongoing Obligations 

Ongoing obligations include; Annual Fees, Updated Information, Beneficial Owners, AML Officers, Transfer of Shares, Annual Audit, AML Obligations, Compliance and Reporting, Auditor’s Report, Licensees, Penalties, Powers of CIMAl, AEOL, Data Privacy and others.

Read the full list of obligations in our Guidance Note here

Note: this publication is for general guidance and is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice. Specialist advice should  be sought about specific circumstances. If you would like further information please contact Stuarts Humphries.

Contact our experts for further advice

View profile for Chris HumphriesChris Humphries
Managing Director and Head of Funds
, View profile for Jonathan McLeanJonathan McLean
Partner and Head of Banking & Regulatory